Shoulder height 135cm. Weight 230kg.
The striking male sable is jet black with a distinct white face, underbelly and rump, and long decurved horns – a strong contender for the title of Africa's most beautiful antelope. The female is chestnut brown and has shorter horns, whilst the young are a lighter red-brown colour. Sable are found throughout the wetter areas of Southern and East Africa.
They are not common in Zambia. However, Kafue is probably the best park for sable, with Kasanka also worthy of note. They're confined to the foothills of the Muchinga Escarpment in the Luangwa, and so very rarely seen by visitors. Sumbu has a small population, as is reported from Sioma Ngwezi and West Lunga.
Sable are normally seen in small herds: either bachelor herds of males, or breeding herds of females and young which are often accompanied by the dominant male in that territory. The breeding females give birth around February or March; the calves remain hidden, away from the herd, for their first few weeks. Sable are mostly grazers, though will browse, especially when food is scarce. They need to drink at least every other day, and seem especially fond of low-lying dewy vleis in wetter areas.